California penal code intimidating witness
In other words, if you did not know that the person you were dissuading was a witness or victim or did not think or realize you were engaged in the type of behavior that would cause the witness to be intimidated and thereby dissuaded, you cannot be charged with this offense.
The word “knowingly” imports only a knowledge that the facts exist which bring the act or omission within the provisions of this code.
In the event you are contact by police or a detective, make no statement and demand the presence of an attorney prior to answering any questions.
If you are being investigated for making threats to a witness, victim, or informant, it is imperative that you contact a Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney right away.
Early intervention by an attorney may mean the difference of a misdemeanor versus a felony, or community service versus a state prison sentence.
In California, threatening a witness, victim, or informant is governed under Penal Code § 140 which states, “Every person who willfully uses force or threatens to use force or violence upon the person of a witness to, or a victim of, a crime or any other person, or to take, damage, or destroy any property of any witness, victim, or any other person, because the witness, victim, or other person has provided any assistance or information to a law enforcement officer, or to a public prosecutor in a criminal proceeding or juvenile court proceeding is guilty under this statute.” • The individual threatened is not a witness, victim, or informant in a case • The person accusing you is fabricating or exaggerating the circumstances • You did not act with the specific intent to convey a threat but instead it was an accident • The alleged victim, witnesses, or informant is part of a civil action and in a criminal proceeding • You did not willfully use force against the other person If convicted of P. § 140, punishment depends on whether the conviction was for a felony or misdemeanor.
Because of what Mary told him, he now fears for his safety and plans on refusing to testify.Threatening a witness, victim, or informant in a criminal case is a wobbler offense which means the prosecutor may elect to file charges as either a felony or misdemeanor.When making that determination, factors the prosecutor will consider are: the defendant’s prior criminal history, the severity of the circumstances of the case, and whether or not a weapon was involved.This means that if you did not know that the person you were dissuading was a witness or victim or did not think or realize you were engaged in the type of behavior that would cause the witness to be intimidated and thereby dissuaded, you cannot be convicted of this offense.Example: Mary told her neighbor Jason that the last person who testified against her co-worker who robbed a bank has disappeared and has not been heard from for days.For more information, contact the Law Offices of John D.